How saving money from a zero percent balance transfer by reviewing fees closely

Save money with a zero percent balance transfer by reviewing fees first

A zero percent balance transfer can be a great way to save money, but only if you do your research before moving you balance. Many people hastily move balances around from credit card to credit card under the simple belief that zero percent balances have to be the best cards, but failure to read the terms and conditions of these cards can end up getting you in more trouble then you started with. The following few paragraphs will discuss how to look at all associated fees and conditions carefully so that when you move your balance it will be the right decision.

The very first thing you need to look at when you start to look at zero percent balance transfer cards is how long your balance will actually stay at zero percent. Ideally you want a card that offers you six to 12 months of zero free balances so that you have time pay off the balance. Some cards only offer three months and then the APR jumps up to a ridiculous rate that can be as high as twice as much as you are paying right now. Obviously, this is not going to be the best deal for you because you will likely end up owning more in interest then you got away with paying for the three months.

This brings up the next point; which is the APR of any zero balance transfer credit card once the grace period of zero percent interest has ended. Even if you get a card that offers you 12 months an ending APR that is 24% or more is going to end up killing your finances if you cannot afford to pay off your entire balance in this timeframe. Therefore, you need to pay close attention to the APR and consider what you can reasonably afford to pay off on the card. The amount of the balance is a large factor, because small balances are not going to add up quickly, but a large balance will catch up with you sooner than you think.

Finally, you need to look at what fees are associated with a missed payment on the zero percent transfer card. Some credit card companies will immediately jump to a high APR of 25% or more with just one missed payment, and the days of zero interest will be gone. Thus, it is very important to make sure that you know what late fees and penalties are assessed in this situation and make sure that you are capable of never incurring them. By checking out the penalties, eventual APR, transfer fees, and other fees well in advance of your transfer you can make sure that you are really saving money when you move money onto a zero percent balance transfer card

Credit Unions & Banks Ramp Up New Credit Card Offers While Customers Wonder About Best Deals

At a time when banks and credit unions are offering new credit card offers, financial advisors say it is good news for those consumers with poor credit ratings. Also, it is great news for those with perfect credit because they are able to pick and choose from the many credit cards plans being offered today.

In addition, there are many frequent shoppers who view credit cards as a way to earn rewards and money back on their purchases. For instance, a credit card fan commenting online explained how she uses a mix of seven different credit cards for almost all of her purchases because of the percentage that she gets back on everything she buys. While some would view that using credit cards for money back is easy money, there are others who tend to shun using credit cards even when saving upwards of 3-6% on each purchase.

Credit card offers help people save money

Another aspect of the changing climate in credit cards today is linked to the view that if you don’t carry a balance on your credit card, you won’t have to pay high interest rates. Also, there are many banks and credit unions today that are offering their own brand of credit cards for both personal and business use at 6.5% and 7% interest. In turn, these new credit cards are being offered with no annual fees or worries about credit card limits if you pay your balance off in time.

Moreover, there are new credit card offers that require minimum security deposits of various amounts based on a customer’s credit history and score. For instance, if you are a new credit customer your credit card limit may be around $300 while an increase in your security deposit for this type of credit card can increase your charging ability. Also, the downside of such credit card plans is your credit history is all important when it comes to how much you must deposit. Thus, if you have really bad credit and want a credit card limit of say $4,000 you will need to deposit nearly $4,000 to help secure your card.

Building your credit score over time with credit cards

There are many new and exciting credit card rules today that are aimed at attracting those who either have little or no credit card history or for those who wish to build or repair their credit history. For example, some banks and credit unions are offering an open hand to those with bad credit who are willing to build their credit scores by simply making small purchases with their local bank or credit union credit cards. The goal is to be responsible when using your credit card by never being late with your monthly credit card payment while also keeping the balance reasonably low so as to pay off the balance whenever possible.

Overall, this method of using credit cards to rebuild one’s overall credit score is viewed as both admirable and responsible by the lenders who are taking a leap of faith that you will return to being a good credit borrower.

Tips For New College Students When Establishing A Credit Card This Fall

It is crucial for college students to know that in order to launch themselves as a financially responsible individual, they must establish credit. With a limited budget they can still do this and starting when they are young will only help them in their future.

While opening a checking account will not report on a credit report, it will indicate that the individual can handle their finances independently. At this point in their life they will begin employment and will have an account in which to deposit their earned income.

College students are a prime target for various credit card companies, therefore vendors will often be on campus sites urging students to apply, often enticing them with a free gift. It can be difficult to turn down such a generous offer, so the student wants to first ask the representative some questions as offers can differ dramatically. The student wants to ask what their interest rate is. If it is a low introductory rate, ask how long it is for and when the rate ends. Also ask what the credit limit will start at (some limits may start as low as $100.). Obviously the individual with no credit history will not be approved for a very high limit, but be sure to ask. Ask if the card has an annual fee, if so what is the amount and does it automatically go on the card as a balance before the card is activated.

Another option to establish credit is to become a co-applicant on an account already established by someone (preferably a parent or other relative). If you do become a co-applicant this means that you are equally responsible for paying the bill by the due date. This account will also report to the credit bureaus, thus giving the first time credit card seeker a credit history. However it is critical that the bill is paid on time as late payments will not only report on your newly established credit report but the report of your guarantor (the person who enabled you to become a co-applicant). If you miss one payment, make sure it gets paid so the account becomes current and remains current. Aside from late payments reporting there are usually fees added to the account, bringing your balance due up more.

Once you have that credit card, keep balances low and do not obtain more credit than you need or can realistically handle. It may be tempting to open more accounts, particularly if a department store is offering a discount on the first purchase you make with their card, but you do not want to open too many accounts (many department store cards offer high interest rates which may start around 20%). Try to keep from charging more on your existing card until you have paid the balance off first.

Having good credit is of high importance in today’s world and it will remain with you throughout your life as it will make a difference in whether you get approved for a cell phone, apartment rental or mortgage, auto insurance and more.

Perks and Promotions Going Mainstream and Now Offered With Debit Card Transactions

Perks and Promotions with Debit Cards

There was a time when customers with high credit ratings were privy to exclusive benefits offered only by credit cards. Now these same perks and promotions are offered through debit card transactions. There are three different types of cards from which to choose.

Pre-paid debit cards allow a customer to directly deposit their payroll check or other monies onto a debit card without a regular checking account. For instance, American Express offers a $50 credit for customers that apply for their prepaid debit card and has direct deposit of a paycheck. Once formerly the most exclusive credit card provider in the world, American Express now offers the Serve® Prepaid Debit Card to customers without a credit check or checking account.

A Special-Themed debit card is a card that comes from a particular brand or store such as Disney®, in which certain loyalty programs are offered as incentives to buy from their store. Once exclusive only to customers who applied for credit cards, Disney now offers year-around perks to customers who choose one of their logo designs as their special-themed debit card when they open a checking account with JP Morgan Chase® Bank. Disney’s year-around perks includes 10% off at Disney Stores® and DisneyStore.com®. They also offer year-around specials at their amusement parks in Florida and California such as private Character Meet-and-Greets and 10% off of merchandise.

And then there are the regular Banking debit cards that come with a personal checking account. After opening the checking account, customers are usually required to enroll in a program for a fee that allows them to earn rewards for their debit card purchases. Although a bank can offer all three types of debit cards, it is usually the checking account debit cards that offer the highest amounts for their debit card users. For instance, Bank of America offers a 3% cashback award when a customer makes a purchase at grocery stores, a 2% cash back award for purchases made at gas stations, and a 1% cashback award for all other purchases.

Even the online banks, without brick-and-mortar locations, are offering amazing benefits for customers. Take a look at the Perk Street Financial bank, an online bank exclusively, which offers all the features of a regular checking account and more. For instance, Perk Street Financial offers 1% cashback on all purchases made with the debit card, but 2% cash back for purchases made with online retailers such as Amazon.com®. They also offer special incentive points as a loyalty program in which specials are emailed to a customer’s inbox and they can choose cashback as a reward or a gift card from a store like Target®, Walmart, Amazon® or Applebee’s®.

Sometimes stores offer prepaid debit cards as sweepstakes promotions for brand recognition with some of the same programs as banks. The great news about all special perks and promotions is that a customer can choose to experience these benefits through a high interest credit card or choose to experience these benefits with the swipe of a debit card.

What Credit Cards Are Popular For Summer Vacation Savings In 2013

The credit card industry is changing in many ways, but one of the most popular changes has to do with all the perks. For consumers looking to maximize their use of a travel credit card to reap rewards for hotels, rental cars, airlines, then we have picked out some great cards that can help you get the best use of your charges. The credit cards provide a lot of savings for anyone that is looking for points or rewards.

Discover Cards

The Discover cards come in various flavors, but the Discover cash back card is probably one of the best ways for people to save. This company will often give extra points in the summer months for things like grocery store and movie purchases. It usually changes in terms of points and categories. Every season is different, but Discover offers extra points for people that make summer purchases on entertainment.

The Discover card users also have the chance to get gift cards from certain places if they spend a certain amount during the summer. This is why so many people are using their Discover cards for the summer months.

Citibank Rewards

The Citibank bank cards that offer the Thank You rewards are also quite popular for the summer. This is a card that has just changed with 2 points for everyone that has purchases for restaurants.

New people that get these cards have the ability to possibly qualify for $150 gift cards and balance transfers. There are things that really allow people to increase their summer savings with very little effort.

People like the Citibank cards because these cards give users points for spending in everyday places that they already are going to. There is no need look for another card because this one of the best possible solutions for the summer.

American Express Blue Card

The summer vacation can be a lot more pleasant when people are using the American Express card. The thing that really helps people save money with the American Express card is the shopping mall that is linked to the Blue Card. When people are shopping online with this card they have 3X the number of points that they would usually get. This is important for people that want to accumulate points for gift cards.

There are a lot of different gift cards that people can select according to different point levels. All of these cards for gas, restaurants and generalized gift cards allow many people to save most of their expense money and use gift cards. This is how a lot of people save in the summer. Some people do not even bother to travel further than the gift cards amounts that they have.

Capital One Cash Back Card

The cash back card that has been getting a lot of attention is Capital One Cash Back card. This is a credit card that gives the most cash back and there are no annual fees associated with this card. Lots of people have seen the commercials that are done by the celebrities for this card.

The credit card industry is quite competitive. Many cards have multiple perks. People that are taking a summer vacation will have some real savings when the use credit cards.

Great Tips To Choose The Right Credit Card For Traveling To Europe


When traveling internationally using a credit card for all purchases is a smart idea. This is especially true when contesting fraudulent charges. Investigation takes less time than bank debit card retrieval. You may also have access to the credit line tied up in the investigation.

Nearly all major credit card companies charge fees for international transactions. Fees range from 2-5 percent. A variety of the Capital One cards charge no fee. The Capital One cards that have no foreign transaction fees are: Capital One Ventureone Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Platinum Prestige Credit Card and Capital One Cash Rewards. You must have excellent credit to obtain these cards. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Barclay Arrival World Mastercard also have no foreign fees policy.

Travel reward cards are a financial bonus. For every $100 you spend, some credit card companies award miles, points or other rewards. In this category Barclay Arrival World Mastercard is among the best. This credit card offers 2 points for each dollar spent. For every $100 spent on flight and hotel reservations you get $2 of redeemable value. Many travel cards limit you to one hotel chain or airline network. The Barclay Arrival World Mastercard does not restrict travel purchase redemption for any car rental agency, airline or hotel.

The flexible mile usage gives this card even more value. An additional 10 percent in points are awarded when point redemption is used for travel expenses. A credit of 40,000 bonus miles is granted after spending $1000 during the first 3 months of membership. That give you $400 to spend on travel.

Other credit card companies also award lesser flight and hotel rewards. The Capital One Venture Rewards Card matches the $2 per $100 spent. The 10 percent bonus and 40,000 bonus miles for spending $1000 in the first 3 months are not available.

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express features the best hotel redemption. You get $2.61 per $100 spent on hotels. Users earn 4-5 points per dollar spent at Starwood hotels. The flight redemption is only $1.35 per $100. All other purchases yield 1 point per dollar spent. An additional 15,000 points are awarded for spending $5,000 during the first 6 months.

Frequent travelers may feel an American Express Platinum Card is worthwhile. There is a $450 annual fee. This is a charge card. That means the balance must be paid in full each month. Through Priority Pass Select and Platinum Service Concierge access to over 600 airport lounges throughout the world is available.

When traveling to Europe, there is another feature to consider. A chip-and-pin system, not used in most American cards, is utilized there. The Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card is one of the few exceptions. Most credit cards can be used with a cashier. Problems arise when trying to access European parking lot kiosks or automated vending machines.

The content of this article is the result of research into international travel. Many credit card companies make similar claims. They vary in annual fees, awards offered and facilities a traveler can use.

What are some creative ways to utilize your cash back credit cards

Cash back credit cards are a great way to earn extra spending money on various purchases. These types of credit cards can be used to pay monthly bills or to make an occasional big ticket purchase. Earning a cash back reward is a great way to save money without having to put money in the back. Spending cash back rewards can be done in a variety of creative ways.

Amazon Payment

Purchases on Amazon can now be made partially or fully with the cash back rewards that are earned on a Discover Card. This is a great way to buy a new camera or to reduce the price for an item. A user who has a $100 cash back reward balance on their Discover Card can reduce a $400 item to $300. Lowering the cost of an item means that less needs to be charged or paid with a debit card.

Buy Groceries
Monthly purchases on a cash back credit card may total $50 or more per month. This means the reward can be cashed in every three to four months to use for pay for a month’s worth of groceries. If a coupon is used to lower the price of various grocery items, then the cash back reward can go much further.

College Textbooks

Taking out a loan to for college tuition may not include the purchase of textbooks. Anyone that is short on funds at the start of the semester can use their cash back reward to buy textbooks. One thing to keep in mind is textbooks can cost up to $100 or more.

Medical Bills

Individuals who are required to pay a co-pay when visiting a doctor or dentist may choose to use a cash back reward from a credit card. This is a great way to avoid taking money out of savings or checking to make the payment. Make sure to see if the cash back reward can be transferred to a bank account. Most cash back rewards are mailed out a check that needs to be deposited.

Home Improvements

The amount of a cash back reward on a credit card may cover the cost of replacing a window, replace a section of gutter or any other small home improvements. Materials, such as caulk, nails, paint, brushes, and other items, can easily be paid with the amount received from a cash back reward. This will mean there is extra money available to spend on other improvements.

Give to Charity

Charities of all types are eager to receive funds. If a cash back reward is not needed, then it can be donated to a local charity. One benefit of donating to charity is that the amount is tax deductible.

How to Optimize Rewards on Credit Cards that Offer Rotating Categories Perks

Reward cards come in many shapes and forms and whereas there are those that offer uniform perks, there are others that provide the so called rotating categories perks. What this means is that in a certain period of time, the card issuers and partner stores will provide perks that change with time. For example, between January and match, you may have rewards on groceries, and between April and June, you could have rewards on restaurants and bars and from July to September, you have rewards on gas and from October to December, you have rewards on entertainment.

These reward cards are a great away to earn you from the different purchases you make throughout the year. For example, you only need to fill your gas once in 3 months period and this means that when you have filled your gas; you can switch to another form of perks such as groceries. However, the timing is very important because you need to activate your card for every category that is offered.

If you do not activate your card, it means that you will have to miss the perks. Although some people do not like to get bothered by such things as activating their cards every now and then, this is the only way you can optimize the use of rotating categories reward cards. They are designed to enable you enjoy a myriad of perks depending on your spending patterns.

Therefore, if you are just too busy to remember to check online, emails and mail boxes for the next period of perks and activate the card, it means that you are not the right candidate for these cards. However, when used properly, they can save you a lot of money, which you can use in other financial needs. A good example of rotating categories reward cards is the Chase Freedom Visa, which offers 5 percent cashback on rotating categories in quarterly timeframes meaning that there are cashback on categories that change every 3 months.

This reward card gives you a 5 percent when you spend $1,500 in every rotating category that corresponds to the quarter you are in. The categories rotate as follows in the 2014 year;
• From January to March- your earn cashbacks on gas stations, drug stores, and Starbucks
• From April to June- you earn cashbacks on restaurants and movie theatres
• July to September- you earn your cashback in gas stations, theme parks and Kohl’s
• From October to December- you earn cashbacks from Amazon and other selected stores.

Besides the 5% on rotating categories perks, the Chase Freedom reward card enables you to earn $100 cashrebate when you spend $500 within the first 3 months when you are issued with the card. In addition, the card has a normal 1% cashrebate on all other purchases apart from the 5% applicable cashrebates on rotating categories. Moreover, this card has a 0 percent introductory APR on purchases and balance transfer within the first 15 months.

The Chase Freedom reward card does not have annual fees. Other rotating categories reward cards for 2014 include the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Visa Card, which offers 5 percent cashrebates on purchases from home furnishing stores, home and garden stores and home depot. Its categories change quarterly and if you are having renovations for your home, you may need to have this kind of card.

Recent Report Shows That More Consumers Begin Carrying Higher Card Balances

Seniors in More Credit Card Debt… What is the Solution?

Recent studies have revealed that the number of older Americans struggling with credit card debt has increased when compared to the young people. In a research findings provided by the AARP Policy Institute and Demos entitled “In the Red: Older Americans and Credit Card Debt,” it was discovered that older American and specifically those over 50 years are in more credit card debt than their counterparts under-50 years.

The old age is such a crucial period in life when the aged persons should be managing their finances very carefully. This is age when the working group retires to enjoy the remaining part of their life. However, this retirement period can be faced with problems especially if the aged persons are struggling with debt.

According to the report, it shows a complete reversal of the state of credit card debts about four years ago when it was the opposite. The main question is why seniors are finding themselves in such high levels of debt than the young people. Although there are factors that may contribute to this phenomenon, it seems that seniors are carrying a burden that may not be theirs.

Some are using the cards to support their adult children who should actually be supporting themselves financially and not relying on their parents. Loss of employment is one contributing factor as a quarter of these seniors are reported to be losing their jobs. What this means is that they are now using their retirements savings to pay for credit card balances something that may make things worse.

About 25 percent of the seniors are assisting their family members to settle their debts including paying for tuition fees for adult children. In the study, it was found out that more than 5 percent of student loans borrowed were granted to persons over the age of sixty. These are not students but they are actually borrowing to support their adult children.

Students should take the burden of their loans so that they can repay when employed after completing their college studies. When these expenditures are coupled with other expenses like medical, home repairs, car repair, rent, utilities, mortgages and insurance, the senior is left in a very difficult financial situation.

These are some of the reasons why the debts are high with a good number of the seniors now dipping into their retirement kit to repay credit card bills and balances. The worrying thing is that if the seniors place themselves in debts, this could dangerously harm their financial security including their retirement funds.

The old age comes with a lot of problems because this is an age when the health of a person deteriorates because the body does not have vibrant immune system. Many chronic diseases crop up during this old age. This means that their financial resources should be used wisely in order to prevent cases of financial bottlenecks and unnecessary borrowing at old age.

People aged 50 and above are carrying a combined credit card balance of about $8,278 on all their credit cards and this is more when compared to the under-50 population, which shows a combined credit card balance of $6,258. There is need for the seniors to be educated in their financial security and how they can maintain it. Many seniors are dying with less than $10,000 in their bank accounts.

One potential way to save would be to look at a zero percent credit card offer, getting a lower APR may help reduce your annual interest expenses, saving you hundreds of dollars per year.

Different Cultures and Different Card Philosophies From America to Europe

How Do Europeans Differ From Americans With Credit Card Usage

There are noticeable differences in the way that people use credit cards all over the world. One huge day and night contrast can be found between Europeans and Americans. More Europeans are stepping into the shadows of Americans that use credit cards heavily, but there is still a big extreme between the two cultures.

Credit Card Companies Lose Money in European Culture

In some markets, credit card volume can be so low that some credit card companies like American Express actually struggle to find a profit.. Ironically, this has caused a lot of credit card companies to pursue Europeans even more. They want customers that are spending more money. Once Europeans start charging more credit card companies are able to get more with interest rates. In most cases Europeans are charging a lot less than 5%. In many instances the Europeans are only charging small rates like 1% or 2%. This is why there are fewer deficits and less economic crisis conversations in the European culture.

Maxing Out American Culture

In American people are spending. Lots of people that had high credit scores have seen these scores decline over time. It has been difficult for many Americans to resist the urge of charging now and paying later. This concept has been something that has only gotten worse.

More Americans are spending and getting even bigger balances that they cannot pay. This is one reason that the economic conditions are getting a lot worse over time. This American culture is obsessed with using credit cards for shopping and dining out. Lots of Americans will essentially spend money on things they may not even need.

Narrowing the Spectrum

For a long time there has been a big gap between Europeans and Americans in terms of credit. There is still a large extreme, but the differences are starting to narrow as more Europeans embrace some American cultures. Fast food, for example, has started to creep into the European culture. This may seem trivial, but this actually marks the signs of Europeans embracing American concepts. Spending in Europe is still not as high, but there are some changes that are making credit card companies happy.

Americans may be trying to clean up their credit histories, but Europeans are actually considering doing more spending. Europeans have not totally embraced the habits of American culture, but there are more comparisons that are being made between the behavioral patterns. Both of these groups are seeing the benefits of using credit cards. The difference, however, is that Europeans are more cautious. Americans have no boundaries to their spending. Most Americans are willing to risk maxing out their cards out because this is part of the culture.

There are all types of ways to use credit cards. Some consumers pay off their cards in full. This is more common in Europe. Others may only pay the bare minimum or nothing at all. That is much more common in America. The culture for Europe promotes less extravagant lifestyles and this equates to less unnecessary spending.